Vow to protect green-belt 'buffer' between two communities

Published on: 06 Jan 2014

A proposal to develop green-belt land separating Keynsham and Saltford has been met with strong opposition in the two communities.

Developer Mactaggart & Mickel has made a submission as part of Bath and North East Somerset Council’s Core Strategy consultation, proposing up to 800 homes on the land.

The submission, which is not a planning application, comes just months after the community successfully fought to stop green belt around Saltford being earmarked for 5,000 new houses in the Core Strategy.

Saltford Environment Group has said it is strongly opposed to the latest proposal, and councillors representing Saltford and East Keynsham have said they will defend the remaining countryside between the two communities and press the council to reject the developer’s bid.

Keynsham East Councillor Marie Longstaff, who also chairs the council’s Planning, Transport and Environment scrutiny committee, said: “Residents will be horrified that the prospect of effectively merging Keynsham and Saltford with new housing has once again reared its head. 

“We have successfully fought against such a proposition before and we will continue to campaign against such a damaging plan.”

Saltford councillor Mathew Blankley said: “The green belt which stretches from Hicks Gate along the A4 to Bath is there specifically to prevent Saltford and Keynsham being swallowed up by a Bristol and Bath conurbation. 

“Residents value the openness of this land, which protects the distinctiveness of our local communities.  We will simply not allow this land to be bulldozed.”

Fellow Saltford councillor Francine Haeberling added that she felt local roads and infrastructure could also not cope with development on such a scale.

She said: “Fortunately, the decision on whether to earmark this land for housing doesn’t sit with the developer – it rests with B&NES, and we will continue to fight to defend our valued green belt from being destroyed in this way.”

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